Have you been keeping up to date with all the new changes taking place with Instagram over the last few months? Do you need to keep up with what’s going on, and understand what the changes are for marketers? Then read on because in this article, you’ll discover how the most recent Instagram changes can affect your marketing.
Besides a funky new logo, the Instagram platform also launched updates to the product with a new news feed algorithm, video features and business tools.
If you take a close look at your own Instagram news feed, you may notice that it’s no longer in chronological order of newest posts first. Instead, you’ll see posts in the order that Instagram regards the most important to you.
Last week Instagram also officially announced the launch of its new tools for business users. This includes Analytics, business profiles and posts to ads within the app. Instagram engaged with hundreds of business that were using its platform prior to development of the new suite of tools.
Business owners said they needed a way to help their profile and posts stand out better and also to better understand their prospects and customers. This led to the creation of business profiles, Insights (analytics) and other new tools to promote posts.
According to Instagram’s Global Head of Business and Brand Development, James Quarles, there are 200,000 active advertisers on Instagram, and the vast majority of those are small to medium businesses. And also that 50% of people follow a business on Instagram and 60% learn about products and services on Instagram.
New business profiles will allow a subset of Instagram users to upgrade their accounts in order to gain access to an expanded set of features. This includes the added ability to let customers reach out to them via phone calls, emails or texts with a tap, and the profiles will include maps and directions to the business, when applicable.
Not everyone will qualify as a business on Instagram, however — only those who already have a Facebook Page for their business will be able to convert their account.
This means that self-promoters on Instagram who use the service to gain notoriety and followers but without a commercial interest won’t be allowed to use some of Instagram’s more desirable new tools, like the Insights feature. However, this may change in time. Instagram says it will begin testing Insights with verified accounts and those with large followings, and may then consider rolling out the feature to the wider community.
With Insights, businesses will be able to track which of their posts are performing well, and other details about their audience’s demographics. This includes things like top posts, reach, impressions and engagement around posts, along with data on followers like their gender, age and location, for example.
The Insights experience is mobile-first — meaning that bigger businesses may use the feature while on the go, while smaller businesses may use Insights as their primary way of tracking their performance on Instagram.
In addition Instagram is debuting mobile ad creation. Users will be able to promote well-performing posts and quickly turn them into ads. The app can also offer suggestions based on the audience and budget.
This tool is designed to be something businesses can use with just a few taps, but that does mean there are trade-offs when compared with the more robust Facebook tools for creating Instagram ads, like Ads Manager or Power Editor.
For instance, Facebook’s desktop ad creation tools let businesses do things like upload a list of email addresses for targeting purposes, create a landing page pixel or access more sophisticated reporting capabilities. Instagram’s in-app ad tools are instead focused on simplicity and speed.
That being said, because of Instagram’s ties to Facebook, business owners can use the mobile tools to define and save custom audiences based on data from Facebook users’ profiles, like gender, age and location, as well as their individual interests, as pulled from both Instagram and Facebook.
Here Are 6 Big Updates That Marketers Should Know About Instagram
Video Length Increased
Ready to share longer videos on Instagram? In case you haven’t heard, Instagram rolled out an increased time limit for videos from 15 to 60 seconds in April. Most users should have this capability with the latest version of the app.With these changes, you can share more video content, especially if you like to repurpose content from other networks, such as downloading your Snapchat story video to Instagram.
Videos Show Views and Viewers
Now you can find out how many people are viewing your videos on Instagram. Simply look at the view count below each of your videos. When you click on your number of views, you’ll get to see the number of likes, along with the option to follow those who liked your video.
A Tap on Photo Ads Reveals the Call to Action
When someone taps once on your ad photo, it brings up your call to action. You can let users click through to your website or app, depending on what you configured when setting up your Instagram ad.
Profile Click-throughs From Ads Include the Call to Action
If you link your Instagram profile to your Instagram ad, when someone taps on your Instagram profile, it will place your ad’s call to action at the top of your profile.
News Feed Visibility Shifts With Algorithm
While most people are focused on the logo change, the biggest change is the roll out of the enhanced Instagram algorithm. You may be surprised to learn that people miss on average 70% of their feeds. As Instagram has grown, it’s become harder to keep up with all the photos and videos people share. This means people often don’t see the posts they might care about the most.
Business profiles will roll out in the coming months in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand, and will reach all regions worldwide by the end of the year.
Get More Out of Instagram’s Business Tools
Excited for Instagram’s new focus on business? So are we! With Social Media Authority businesses can not only make their Instagram accounts shoppable, but they also get smarter audience targeting based on individuals who have interacted with a company’s shoppable galleries.
Along with the new Instagram analytics, Social Media Authority can help businesses determine which content is performing best, not just which content has the most likes. With Social Media Authority companies can select content based on what’s driving the most clicks to site and product pages — providing a deep insight into which images are driving purchase intent as well as which products are driving conversions.